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Legacies of Power

Legacies of Power

Professor Roger Southall is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and was formerly Professor of Political Studies, Rhodes University and has also and researched in academic institutions and think-tanks in Lesotho, Uganda, the UK and Canada. Dr Henning Melber headed the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek and was a member of the Presidents Economic Advisory Council from 1992 to 2000. Previously the Research Director at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, he is currently the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjold foundation.

Africa Open Access

  • Product Information
  • Format: 148mm x 210mm
  • Pages: 352
  • ISBN 13: 978-07969-2120-8
  • Rights: World Rights

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Leadership change and former presidents in African politics It was a widely held dominant perception until the early 1990s that African rulers do not vacate their office alive. But even in the brutal reality of African politics, transition takes place, and different former presidents have dealt with how to maintain power and privilege very differently. Case studies examining the post-presidential years of the iconic Mandela in South Africa, Daniel arap Moi in Kenya, Nyerere in Tanzania, Rawlings in Ghana, Charles Taylor in Liberia, as well as the experience of Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi, and Nigeria, this volume examine the dilemmas which demand presidential transitions impose upon incumbent rulers and analyses the relationships which are evolving between new regimes and their predecessors. The contributors discuss the hybrid political systems that exist in post-independence Africa, the role allotted to or pursued by former African presidents, transitional politics and justice, and political stability. The book stimulates careful further observation and analyses concerning progress in this contested arena of institutionalised political power in Africa. Co-published with Nordic Africa Insitute

List of Tables


Abbreviations and Acronyms

Introduction: About life after presidency – Roger Southall and Henning Melber

1 Former presidents in Africa – Roger Southall, Neo Simutanyi and John Daniel

2 Soldiering on: the post-presidential years of Nelson Mandela 1999 – 2005 – John Daniel

3 Unpacking the model: Presidential succession in Botswana – Kenneth Good and Ian Taylor

4 The contested role of former presidents in Zambia – Neo Simutanyi

5 ‘Presidential indispensability’ in Namibia: Moving out of office but staying in power – Henning Melber

6 “When I am a century old’: Why Robert Mugabe won’t go – David Moore

7 Toxic mushrooms: The presidential third term debate in Malawi – Sean Morrow

8 Politics and presidential term limits in Uganda – Roger Tangri

9 Immunity or accountability? Daniel Toroitich arap Moi: Kenya’s first retire president – Tom Wolf

10 Troubled visionary: Nyerere as a former president – Roger Southall

11 Rawlings’ former presidency: A threat to democracy in Ghana? – Kwame Boafo-Arthur

12 An army of ex presidents: Transitions, the military and democratic conslidation in Nigeria – Sola Akinrinade

13 Despot Desposed: Charles Taylor and the challenge of state reconstruction in Liberia – Daniel Hoffman




Doreen Atkinson was a Research Director with the Human Sciences Research Council. She was based in the Bloemfontein office of the HSRC during the time of the study. She has research and consulting experience in the following fields:

  • Local Government
  • Rural Development
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Constitutional Development
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Local Economic Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Health Delivery

Her publications during the last five years, include From a Tier to a Sphere: Local Government in the New South African Constitutional Order (co-edited with Maxine Reitzes, published by EISA and Heinemann Press, 2000); Rural Development Framework, for the Free State Provincial Government; and A Pathway to Sustainability: Local Agenda 21 in South Africa (co-edited with Penny Urquhart, for the Department of Environmental Affairs, 2001). She was working on municipal capacity-building, especially in the light of the implementation of IDPs; as well as the development of municipal capacity in commercial agricultural areas during the time of the study.

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